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*A Giraffe and a Half* by Shel Silverstein
Also by Shel Silverstein:

Don't Bump the Glump! (And Other Fantasies)
Lafcadio, the Lion who Shot Back
The Giving Tree
Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook
A Giraffe and a Half
by Shel Silverstein
Ages 1-8 48 pages HarperCollins February 2014 Hardcover    

A number of author/artist Shel Silverstein’s works are celebrating significant anniversaries this year. Indeed, 1964 was a busy year for the man. Beyond his work as a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, songwriter, recording artist and more, he published a number of children’s books such as A Giraffe and a Half.

Other works celebrating anniversaries include the 50th anniversaries of Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back, The Giving Tree, Don’t Bump the Glump!, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros! and the 40th anniversary of Where the Sidewalk Ends.

A Giraffe and a Half is a madcap adventure with wordplay similar to some of Dr. Seuss’s best work. A young boy with a giraffe pulls on the giraffe to get a giraffe and a half. Then he adds a hat with a rat, and so on until the giraffe is really quite a sight.

The book might not have the gravitas of The Giving Tree, but it is a wonderfully zany adventure capped off by excellent line drawings by Silverstein. He puts the giraffe into more incredible predicaments with each passing page. It all leads up to a satisfying conclusion.

These anniversary celebrations are an excellent time to reintroduce Silverstein’s remarkable work to a new generation of readers—young and old. Somehow, I missed many of these the first time around and was delighted by the words and illustrations. I was also slightly disappointed I did not discover them for myself much sooner.

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  Zane Ewton/2014 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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